Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/310

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the purpose of replenishing our larder, which was but very ill supplied.

One day I made a capital shot at an ostrich, which, when running at full speed, I brought down at the long distance of two hundred and thirty paces. On a previous occasion I killed one of these splendid birds when upward of three hundred paces from me.

Another day I had the good fortune to shoot a rhinoceros. He was probably a straggler, for these animals have long since disappeared from the part of the country where we were then encamped, and, indeed, are now very rarely to be met with south of the Kuisip River.

Early one morning one of our herdsmen came running up to us in great fright, and announced that a lion was devouring a lioness! We thought at first that the man must be mistaken; but his story was perfectly true, and only her skull, the larger bones, and the skin were left. On examining the ground more closely, the fresh remains of a young springbok were also discovered. We therefore conjectured that the lion and lioness being very hungry, and the antelope not proving a sufficient meal for both, they had quarreled; and he, after killing his wife, had coolly eaten her also. A most substantial breakfast it must have been!

On only one other occasion have I known lions to prey on each other. This was when on my way to Lake Ngami. On a certain night we had badly wounded a lion. He retreated growlingly into the bush, and immediately afterward a whole troop of lions rushed upon their disabled brother and tore him to pieces.

A singular and interesting atmospheric phenomenon occurred at Hountop. Between seven and eight o'clock in the evening of the 24th of June, when reading by the side of my bivouac fire, I was suddenly startled by the whole atmosphere becoming brilliantly, nay, almost painfully illuminated. On turning to the quarter of the heavens whence this radiance